Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Morning Intoxication

Doug took off for Maui early this morning and the sky wept. Alternating between a light rain and steady downpour, this was my first rainy day of the trip. I wandered the streets homeless, soaked and cold waiting for my evening flight to Prague.

I got to the Hamburg fish market amid flowing streams of umbrellas. Early Sunday mornings they hold their larger version of the Maui swap meet along the river where fishing boats used to sell their catches. Nothing out of the ordinary until I got to the old fishmarket building. The only thing being sold there was beer, beer, fried food, and more beer. A band was performing, hundreds of people were staggering around or sitting at long tables, always drinking. And all this at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning (click HERE for the video). Come to think of it we've noticed people drinking beer in the parks and on the streets at all hours of the day.

Continuing my sodden wanderings I also noticed that the seedy bars which did not open until midnight on Saturday were still going strong at 9 in the morning. Other than the bars and a handful of restaurants, the city was closed for business. What a huge contrast to Saturday when the streets were packed and all of the stores were busy. I had heard that Germany shuts down on Sundays and now I've witnessed if for myself.

All that I've seen of Prague so far was on my taxi ride from the airport, but I'm struck by a sense of tidiness. The taxi was spotless, the driver wore a tie, the buildings are clean and graffiti free. I am reminded of the Vienna I visited twenty plus years ago.

Time now to catch up on lost sleep...

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